A new craft beer by Lion has been banned by a retailer
because its advertising material is "an insult to a great
Liquorland Newmarket tweeted that it would not stock the
Crafty Beggars range because of its marketing tagline - "A
craft beer you can actually drink"- which has caused a
backlash among beer drinkers.
But Lion brand marketing director Danny Phillips defended the
campaign, calling it "tongue in cheek", and said the nine
brewers inside Lion were real people.
Mr Phillips said Lion was catering to traditional beer
drinkers who found boutique craft beer too challenging
because of the strong hop flavour, and the company had as
much right to be in the craft beer market as a microbrewery.
"Some of the craft beer guys say you have to be small to be
craft. We disagree with that. We say regardless of your size,
if you make good, flavoursome beer then that's craft beer and
that's good for consumers."
He said the campaign was not meant to offend or upset and
that beer drinkers should decide on taste whether to try
Crafty Beggars, rather than other people's opinions.
"I guess we were a little bit validated at the recent brewing
awards in the lager section."
Crafty Beggars Pilsner won a silver in its category at the
International Brewing Awards in Britain, and Lion also picked
up two golds for the Speight's Tri Hop Pilsner and Mac's
Mr Phillips said he had not heard of any other retailers
apart from Liquorland Newmarket who would not stock the beer.
The retailer did not return calls yesterday.
Brewers' Guild of New Zealand president Ralph Bungard said he
was aware of the campaign, which was a bit "deceptive", but
said it would be hard for small brewers to complain because
they often took the same stance in their marketing.
"They can be pretty cheeky about some of the ranges that the
bigger brewers put out," said Mr Bungard, who runs Three Boys
Brewery in Christchurch.
"For example saying, 'Why would you drink this bland fizzy
brown stuff they call beer?'
"If you're willing to give [it] you've got to take a little
as well," he said of Lion's campaign.
"Most brewery members realise it's part of the game and they
wouldn't be shy about making some cheeky comments back."
He said having the "big boys"entering the craft market was a
reflection of how well the microbrewers had created that
The marketing ploy "Someone should make a craft beer you can
actually drink. That's the conclusion we Crafty Beggars came
to. A rogue society, hidden deep within the industry, made up
of nine brewers of unsurpassed skill and fanaticism, who all
agreed that beer had gone in two directions - either
hopelessly middle of the road, or so snobbily crafty that one
overpriced sip will blow your face off in a blitzkrieg of
hops and whatever else has been arbitrarily thrown in.
Something had to be done."
- Natalie Akoorie of the New Zealand Herald